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911 Poem from David Cormier
September 11, 2001
It happened on this mournful day,
When someone attacked the USA,
It was an attack on the human race,
By someone without a face.
They used our commercial planes,
They all went up in flames,
They crashed into the World Trade Center and they are
They crashed into the Pentagon.
Then came the Police , Firemen and EMS,
To get people out of harms way no less,
Then came the crashing of the walls,
The rooms , the ceilings and the halls.
Our hearts all ache,
How much more can these people take,
They lost someone they love,
They have gone somewhere up above.
So many lives have been taken,
So many others are shaken,
The tears are falling like rain,
From all who feel the peoples pain.
The USA will remain strong,
Even though this is all wrong,
We will walk with our heads held high,
We will never forget those who had to die.
Our flags will wave,
Our memories will we save,
And once again we will be,
The Home Of The Brave And The Free.
By : David Cormier
West Plains, MO.65775
Height: 1,368 and 1,362 feet (417 and 415 meters)
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) on December 26, 2004. The earthquake generated a tsunami that was among the deadliest disasters in modern history.
At a magnitude of 9.0, it was the largest earthquake since the 9.2 magnitude Good Friday Earthquake off Alaska in 1964, and tied for fourth largest since 1900. In February 2005, new analyses suggested the magnitude was underestimated, and one study estimates it at 9.3; however, the USGS has not yet confirmed this.  (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6991)
The earthquake originated in the Indian Ocean just north of Simeulue island, off the western coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The resulting tsunami devastated the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, Thailand and other countries with waves up to 18 m (55.8 feet) high (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/211012_tsunamiscience07.html). It caused serious damage and deaths as far as the east coast of Africa, with the furthest recorded death due to the tsunami occuring at Port Elizabeth in South Africa, 8 000km (5 000 miles) away from the epicentre  (http://en.wikipedia.org).
Anywhere from 228,000 to 310,000 people are thought to have died as a result of the tsunami, and the count is not yet complete. In Indonesia in particular, 500 bodies a day were still being found in February 2005 and the count was expected to continue past June.  (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/02/10/tsunami.ship.ap/index.html) The true final toll may never be known due to bodies having been swept out to sea, but current estimates use conservative methodologies. Relief agencies warn of the possibility of more deaths to come as a result of epidemics caused by poor sanitation, but the threat of starvation seems now to have been largely averted  (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4157947.stm). The plight of the many affected people and countries prompted a widespread humanitarian response.
Osama Bin Laden, born in 1957, comes from a wealthy Saudi Arabian family that owns a multinational construction business. An engineer by training, he used his inherited wealth to bankroll Afghan forces fighting the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. After the 1991 Gulf War, he was disturbed that Saudi Arabia allowed U.S. forces to remain in the Arabian peninsula. He regards the U.S. presence as betrayal of Islamic faith. To advance his agenda of expelling the U.S. from the Islamic world, he worked with other anti-Western fundamentalists to organize a secretive, highly compartmentalized terrorist network, known as al Qaeda or The Base. Disowned by his family and repudiated by Saudi Arabia, he settled in Afghanistan in 1996. Personally, he is tall and lives simply, accompanied by four wives and up to 15 children.
He is regarded by U.S. officials as the prime suspect in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Analysis: Terrorists On Parade
A number of news outlets, including state-run Al-Iraqiya television, last week broadcast "confessions" by purported terrorists. There appears to be a thin thread of connectivity among the testimonies: some said that either Syria or Iran financed their activities in Iraq, but many appeared confused as to whom they were working for, or who was funding their attacks.
The broadcasts have increased in frequency in recent weeks and Al-Iraqiya is not the only channel to carry such footage. Dubai-based Iraqi channel "Al-Fayha," which has been identified by some Iraqis as a "Shi'ite channel," has run a series of interviews with alleged terrorists in Iraqi custody.
Colonel Tirad Abd said that Egyptian, Syrian, Iranian, Pakistani, and Lebanese nationals have been arrested in the governorate. He said some of the arrested had direct links to fugitive Jordanian terrorist Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi. He described a network in which terrorists were ranked in a cell structure holding positions of "princes" and "executioners." A 24 February article in "The Guardian" reported that alleged terrorists in Mosul said they were told they would be made "princes" after carrying out 10 beheadings.
"It is being said in schools of Islam that they are the agents of the Americans."
One of the suspects, Abd al-Qadir Abd al-Karim, described his participation in detonating explosive devices and car bombs near U.S. troops. He added that financier Sa'dun Sabih Kazim brought the explosives to Syrian suicide bombers in Iraq. The Syrians "would drive alongside [U.S. military] bases and detonate [the explosives]," Abd al-Karim said. When asked where the group obtained its explosives, he claimed that Kazim got them from "the Islamic Party," an apparent reference to the Iraqi Islamic Party. The Sunni-led party boycotted participation in Iraq's national elections and has continuously denied any connection to terrorist activities in Iraq.
The accounts given by the men differed in that some said they were paid for their activities, and others said they received no compensation. One man, Amir Latif Mutlaq, said he was paid 250,000 Iraqi dinars ($178) for one operation, while Zuhayr Qasim Mutlaq, his apparent cousin, said that he was not paid. Zuhayr also claimed that he was forced through intimidation to participate in the group's activities. Ayad Kamil, another man in custody, gave a similar account: "Two men whom I had not known came to me. They said: 'Get in [the car].' When I asked what [they wanted], they said: 'Get in, or we will kill you.'... They said: 'We have a job to kill some people. If you do not go with us, we will kill you.'"
The interrogations have also turned up allegations of the involvement of foreign powers. According to a 23 February AP report, a recent "confession" broadcast on Al-Iraqiya showed a man identified as Lieutenant Anas Ahmad al-Issa of the Syrian intelligence service, who said his group was recruited to "cause chaos in Iraq...to bar America from reaching Syria." Al-Issa and 10 other men -- all Iraqis -- said on camera that they were recruited by Syrian intelligence officers. Al-Issa further claimed that he entered Iraq in 2001 because Syrian intelligence was convinced that a U.S. attack against Iraq would come. Another man, Shawan al-Sabawi, identified as a former lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi Army, said Syrian intelligence trained him in how to behead hostages. Al-Issa said the group practiced beheadings on animals. He added that Syrian intelligence provided weapons, explosives, and equipment, paying the group's members $1,500 month, AP reported.
Broadcasts of interrogations on Al-Iraqiya and Al-Fayha have also featured foreign fighters who said their activities were financed by Syria and Iran. And London's "Al-Hayat" reported on 9 February that Interior Minister Falah al-Naqib revealed that 18 Lebanese nationals belonging to Hizballah have recently been arrested on charges of terrorism. Al-Naqib said at the time, however, that Iran posed a greater threat to Iraq by interfering in Iraq's "internal affairs, especially by its followers." "As to our problem with Syria," he said, "it can be resolved through dialogue and cooperation."
The interim government is clearly attempting to gain public support against the terrorists and their supporters in neighboring states. It also wants to demonstrate to the Iraqi people that it has gained ground in its war on terror.
But the broadcasts also raise questions about the tactics used in interrogations. A report issued by Human Rights Watch (http://www.hrw.org) in January documents detainees' complaints of torture and ill-treatment in detention, particularly during interrogations. Detainees have reported routine beatings to the body with cables, hose pipes, and other instruments; being kicked, punched, and slapped; and receiving electric shocks to the earlobes and genitals -- all practices sanctioned by the Hussein regime. "With rare exception, the [interim] Iraqi authorities have failed to investigate and punish officials responsible for violations," the HRW report stated.
Moreover, statements under duress are less than reliable testimony. According to a 21 February Reuters report, the interrogator in an Al-Iraqiya television report, "encouraged the men to speak about 'filthy crimes' and constantly mentioned Syria." The interrogator asks one man: "So were these goods smuggled with the knowledge of the Syrian government?" The suspect replies yes, and then no.
The confessions have also raised skepticism among viewers, according to western media reports, who feel they are being manipulated by such broadcasts. For the media, it is also difficult to verify the authenticity of the confessions. As a Reuters report noted, the interrogator's face does not appear on camera, and the men interrogated are shown sitting in office chairs across from a desk in a white-walled room.
In the 1950's, the United States began to send troops to Vietnam, during the following 25-year period, the ensuing war would create some of the strongest tensions in US history. Almost 3 million US men and women were sent thousands of miles to fight for what was a questionable cause. In total, it is estimated that over 2,5 million people on both sides were killed.
This site does not try to document the entire history of the Vietnam War but is intended as a picture essay, illustrating some of the incredible conditions under which soldiers from both sides lived, fought, played and ultimately died. The legendary combat photographer, Tim Page, took almost all of the images shown; they are nothing short of stunning. I have tried to minimize the download time. If you wish to add any comments or share your experience with us on this site you will find email links on every page.
Please be advised that strict copyright laws protect this site and under no circumstances may any images be copied or used in any form. All of the images on this site are digitally marked and therefore cannot be reused. Please see the acknowledgment section for more details about the pictures and this site. And finally, NO!, I cannot give anyone permission to use the images, they are the property of the photographers or their publishers.
Finally, if you have come here to ONLY look at blood and gore you have come to the wrong place, a soldiers facial expression can be just as terrifying.
UNITED NATIONS PARTISAN INFANTRY KOREA, 8240TH AU
February 1951 to February 1954
The night of 20-21 February 1954 was overcast with occasional snow flurries and the temperature was near zero as two 50-foot patrol boats slipped quietly across the Han River Estuary mud flats. Shortly before midnight they glided to a stop two hundred yards off the beach at Haenam-ni, North Korea. Minutes later two black assault boats rode a still rising tide to a mud beach, quickly loaded thirty-two survivors from the ill-fated BEEHIVE stay-behind mission, and returned to the waiting boats. The last man boarded and at zero zero four-three hours the 50-footers executed the well known maneuver, 'Haul Ass, thus ending the last operational mission by United Nations Partisan Infantry Korea, the 8240th Army Unit
UN partisan operations in Korea came about more by chance than from planning. During the retreat out of North Korea in Nov-Dec 1950, thousands of anti-communist North Koreans citizens were left behind to fend for themselves. Facing almost certain death at the hands of the communists, these people fought their way to North Koreas west coast and sailed to offshore islands where they prepared to fight a last ditch battle.
The fact that armed friendly North Koreans still held the off-shore islands came to the attention of 8th Army on 8 January 1951. A mad scramble ensued to utilize these unexpected assets and on January 15th, the Guerrilla Section, Eighth Army G3 Miscellaneous, came into being.
A six man cadre originally code named TASKFORCE WILLIAM ABLE but soon changed to LEOPARD, arrived on Paengnyong-do, a large island off the North Korean held west coast, on February 15, 1951 starting the massive task of bringing partisan groups under Eighth Army command.
This in itself was a major undertaking since these groups held islands from the Han River Estuary to the mouth of the Yalu River. All initial contact by LEOPARD team members was made only after a slow, several-day ride in a hot-head diesel fishing junk but by mid-March all individual groups, now bearing a designation of DONKEY plus a unit number, were under LEOPARDs control.
LEOPARDs west coast seaborne and interior North Korea operations started producing immediate results. With the influx of arms, ammunition, explosives, medical supplies, food and communications equipment and improving weather, LEOPARD sent infiltration teams to contact and supply partisan groups already operating within North Korea. Bridges were blown, roads and railroads interdicted, small North Korean and Chinese detachments wiped out, and, just as importantly, reliable agent nets established. This activity forced the CCF and NK commands to divert badly needed front line units to local security/anti-partisan operations.
LEOPARDs strength expanded daily and, by June 1951, west coast partisans counted over eight thousand men on the active roster. This, plus distance and poor communications, made Miscellaneous Group Headquarters rethink its organization. WOLFPACK Headquarters was established to command partisan operations on the south coast of Hwanghae Province while LEOPARD moved its forward headquarters north to Ch'o-do and commanded west coast operations from the 38th Parallel north to the Yalu River. WOLFPACK initially established its headquarters on Yonp'yong-do, an island group at the mouth of Haeju Estuary centrally located between Paengnyong-do to the west and the mouth of the Han River to the east.
WOLFPACK Headquarters later moved to Kanghwa-do, an island at the mouth of the Han adjacent to the mainland.
Results by these two units were excellent By the Cease-fire, they were credited with forcing the enemy to have 75,000 troops on security duty in Hwanghae Province alone. Additionally, they compiled a phenomenal record of successful actions combined with a relatively small loss record.
Shortly, [within the] LEOPARD organization, an airborne special missions unit, BAKER, became operational at Kijang near Pusan. This unit had the multiple mission of [providing] airborne training [to] agents and partisan raider groups, planning and carrying out agent or partisan drops, and controlling and resupplying these people once they were in North Korea. This was a tall order for the two officers and two Noncoms initially assigned to BAKER, particularly when you consider these men lacked formal UW training or UW experience and everything was OJT.
BAKER mounted its first airborne operation, VIRGINIA ONE, 15 March 1951. This was a mission to destroy a key railroad tunnel. It ended in failure with a helicopter exfiltration of three Americans from a hot LZ, one helicopter lost, two Americans captured and the nineteen South Koreans killed or captured and later executed. This was followed on 18 June 1951 by SPITFIRE, a joint US, British SAS, and South Korean mission intended to establish a semi-permanent base near the main MSR between Wonsan and Kumhwa.
SPITFIRE enjoyed initial success but their location was revealed when an US Air Force pilot, unable to find the DZ at night, loitered until daylight and made a supply drop directly over SPITFIREs hideout The team quickly relocated but was attacked at dawn the following day by a Chinese battalion. SFC William T. Miles and a South Korean partisan were lost in this action. lie and the four South Koreans fought a rear-guard battle that allowed the main group to escape. Neither rejoined the main group. Sergeant Miles is still carried missing-in-action.
Meanwhile, a new section was organized to handle partisan operations on Koreas east coast, TASKFORCE KIRKLAND. After training at Samchok, this group took control of two islands; Nam-do on the 39th Parallel and 15 miles off the North Korean east coast and Sam-do a few miles south of the 39th Parallel and 1000 yards from the mainland. Some successful operations were launched by this group but most failed since the KIRKLAND partisans were not from the local area and thus did not enjoy local support nor did they have an intimate knowledge of the terrain.
On May 5, 1951, the Guerrilla Section, 8th Army G3 Miscellaneous Division, became an independent Army unit - the 8086th Army Unit. This was changed to Far East Command Liaison Detachment, Korea, FECLD-K 8240th AU on 10 Dec 1951 and all partisan operations came under its Guerrilla Division, United Nations Partisan Forces, Korea (UNPIK). At this time, all division TAC-Intel (TLO units) and 8th Army positive intelligence operations were consolidated under Combined Command Reconnaissance Activities, Korea (CCRAK), 8240th AU. BAKER split. The training section remained at Kijang as the 1st Partisan Airborne Infantry Regiment (PAIR). The operational section moved to K-16 (Seoul City Airport between Seoul and Yongdong-po), was redesignated the Airborne Special Missions Platoon, and given the code name AVIARY.
This structure remained in place until December 1952 when LEOPARD, WOLFPACK, AND TASK FORCE SCANNON (formerly KIRKLAND) were redesignated Partisan Infantry Regiments (PIR) and UNPFK headquarters the United Nations Partisan Infantry, Korea (UNPIK). The 1st PIR moved to Yongdong-po at this time. All units retained these designations until disbandment in April, 1954.
The first airborne mission by AVIARY was MUSTANG III - a mission to set up E&E operations near POW camps. This flight went down near Wonsan, North Korea, the night of 22/ 23 January, when the last man of the Chinese team threw a hand grenade back as he exited the C-47. MSG Davis T. Harrison managed to jump as did a badly wounded CPL George Tatarakis. Harrison was returned during the POW exchanges in 1953 but nothing was ever learned of Tatarakis fate although there are reports he was seen alive at Paks Palace in Pyongyang later
Over the next ten months AVIARY dispatched more MUSTANG operations (establishment of E&E routes from POW camps). These were MUSTANG IV, V, VI, VII and VIII. Some MUSTANG teams never made contact after their drop. Others checked in but dropped out of the net in a few days time. It is fairly obvious that these missions were compromised before they left the ground.
The MUSTANG operations were followed by JESSE JAMES I, II and III on the nights of 28-30 Dec 1952. These were radio team augmentations to Donkey units already operating in Hwanghae Province. All drops were successful and the teams came out of North Korea with their Donkey units a few weeks prior to the cease-fire.
The next operation, named GREEN DRAGON, was the largest drop attempted. On the night of 25/26 Jan 1953,97 Partisans dropped from five C-47s into the mountains northeast of Kumhwa. This was the same DZ and area used by SPITFIRE in June 1951. The mission was also the same - to establish a semi-permanent base of operations. Radio contact was established and regular resupply drops were made for the next seven months. GREEN DRAGON was augmented twice, adding another 56 partisans for a total of 153 men dropped. Comrnuication with GREEN DRAGON became suspect after the last augmentation and ceased a few days later. No GREEN DRAGON partisans returned to UN lines.
AVIARY made four more drops on east coast targets in February 1953. These were BOXER I, II, III and IV. Little is known of the actual targets or the results since these teams belonged to JACK (CIA). The reported targets were railroad tunnels on the Wonsan-Vladivostok railroad. US Navy ships exfiltrated each team after mission completion.
The last three team infiltrations of the war made by AVIARY were:
HURRICANE (31 March), to contact a reported 200 partisans operating in the ANJU area: RABBIT 1(1 April), to establish stay-behind bases southwest of WONSAN and another northeast of Pyongyang; and RABBIT 11(6 April), a six man (three men to each RABBIT I location) augmentation. All infiltrations succeeded but, as often happened in the past, radio contact failed shortly after insertion.
UNPIK disbanded in 1954. In its three years there were successes and failures but lessons were learned from both. Fortunately these carried over to future special operations as men rotated from Korea and brought their experience to Special Forces.
It was the first time he didn't know me. So many times I'd seen other things forgotten. Small things, from just minutes ago, somehow never registered in his mind. So we could laugh when he went out in his baseball cap with the letters stitched boldly, CRS, and he'd delight to say that it stood for "Can't Remember Shit!" After which he'd proceed to ask once again a question that he had asked just a few minutes before and probably an hour before that.
Always, my mother was there to comfort him, to reassure him. I could see that this was their routine, my mom and dad's, day by day, moment by moment. His frustration was real but soothed so deeply by her patience.
Never before, however, had CRS meant "Can't Remember Son."
There we were the night after Thanksgiving, sitting in our home filled with so many memories of so much life. But sometimes memory fades in the evening of a day, or of a life. And on this evening, it faded fast. His face, etched so deeply in my memory and foreshadowing so inevitably my own 40 years from now, turned toward me and asked, "Now, who are you?"
I presume he's wondering which of his three sons. "I'm Jim."
"Do you have some connection here?"
"Dad, I'm your son."
"No, you're not my son." His head shakes slowly side to side, as if to say, "I'd at least remember my own son."
Two sets of eyes look at Mom, as both of us call her these days. Her gentle, smiling nod tells him, "He is, indeed, your son," and tells me, "He does, indeed, get like this sometimes," and most important tells us both, "It'll be OK." She gives both sets of eyes permission to turn to each other. In tears but in love.
"I can't believe I don't remember my own son."
"It's OK, Dad. I can remember well enough for both of us." I really believe what Mom's nod had said. It is OK. I knew that, holding him now, and I hoped he knew it, too. Like I used to know it, shaking from a childhood nightmare, when he'd tell me, "It's OK."
Like me then, he could sleep now. Waking, he knew me. And, ah! great gift of forgetting, didn't remember that he had forgotten me.
Waiting for that moment of waking, I knew something of our advent, waiting for a final and absolute remembering. Now, not knowing many things, we're able to love even in the not knowing. Then, we shall know and love. Now, we love and wait. And it is OK.
James O. Englert writes from Mankato, Minn.
COPYRIGHT 1998 National Catholic Reporter
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